Data-driven personalized healthcare : Towards personalized interventions via reinforcement learning for Mobile Health

Abstract: Medical and technological advancement in the last century has led to the unprecedented increase of the populace's quality of life and lifespan. As a result, an ever-increasing number of people live with chronic health conditions that require long-term treatment, resulting in increased healthcare costs and managerial burden to the healthcare provider. This increase in complexity can lead to ineffective decision-making and reduce care quality for the individual while increasing costs. One promising direction to tackle these issues is the active involvement of the patient in managing their care. Particularly for chronic diseases, where ongoing support is often required, patients must understand their illness and be empowered to manage their care. With the advent of smart devices such as smartphones, it is easier than ever to provide personalised digital interventions to patients, help them manage their treatment in their daily lives, and raise awareness about their illness. If such new approaches are to succeed, scalability is necessary, and solutions are needed that can act autonomously without costly human intervention. Furthermore, solutions should exhibit adaptability to the changing circumstances of an individual patient's health, needs and goals. Through the ongoing digitisation of healthcare, we are presented with the unique opportunity to develop cost-effective and scalable solutions through Artificial Intelligence (AI).This thesis presents work that we conducted as part of the project improving Medication Adherence through Person-Centered Care and Adaptive Interventions (iMedA) that aims to provide personalised adaptive interventions to hypertensive patients, supporting them in managing their medication regiment. The focus lies on inadequate medication adherence (MA), a pervasive issue where patients do not take their medication as instructed by their physician. The selection of individuals for intervention through secondary database analysis on Electronic Health Records (EHRs) was a key challenge and is addressed through in-depth analysis of common adherence measures, development of prediction models for MA and discussions on limitations of such approaches for analysing MA. Furthermore, providing personalised adaptive interventions is framed in the contextual bandit setting and addresses the challenge of delivering relevant interventions in environments where contextual information is significantly corrupted.       The contributions of the thesis can be summarised as follows: (1) Highlighting the issues encountered in measuring MA through secondary database analysis and providing recommendations to address these issues, (2) Investigating machine learning models developed using EHRs for MA prediction and extraction of common refilling patterns through EHRs and (3) formal problem definition for a novel contextual bandit setting with context uncertainty commonly encountered in Mobile Health and development of an algorithm designed for such environments.